I watched High Fidelity again last week. Gosh but I love that film.
I love Nick Hornby and the book was a real favourite of mine when I first read it. I was about 17 and hadn't really read a 'man-book' before, something from a distinctly male perspective that was full of humour and heart and entirely engrossing. Up until then I'd lived mostly on classics and romantic young-adulty novels, so it was such a refreshing change. It seemed so grown-up and British, so normal. I think I've always been drawn to stories like that, not dramatic or over-the-top stuff, but the real life stuff. Everyday stories that happen between work and the pub and catching the train.
When I found out they were making a film version I was wary, as we often are when it's a favourite, but especially as it was going to be American. I loved the North London of Hornby's book and didn't quite see how it would translate. But of course it didn't matter at all. John Cusack is a dreamboat and they kept all the right things and managed to make it a whole story of its own at the same time. And I love Chicago, the city that's a town, that feels middle-America but lively and full of character.
And the 'all-time top fives' absolutely make the film. I love lists and top-fives and it's a beautiful way of framing the story. From a hundred song categories to Rob's top-five things he misses about Laura, it's film that knows which details matter. What we listen to and what we read are how we view the world, and what better way to make that point than a whole soundtrack of just-right pop songs (and a cameo from the Boss).
* It's also the film that introduced me to the Beta Band, and you can't argue with that.